Membership Information

Membership

Full membership in the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR) is open to all major superiors of women religious, both general and provincial and their legitimate vicars, who reside in the United States and who belong to active religious institutes or to societies of apostolic life, provided these have been canonically established, and subscribe to the criteria for membership.

Associate Membership

Associate membership is open to women who reside in the United States and govern associations which have been established with a view to becoming religious institutes or societies of apostolic life, provided these associations have canonical status of a public association of the faithful and subscribe to the criteria for membership.

Criteria for Membership

Those accepted into membership subscribe to the teaching of the Church regarding those elements considered essential to religious life, including for example:

  • Consecration to God through profession by vow of the evangelical counsels
  • A stable form of community life
  • A sharing of Christ’s mission through primary apostolates committed to it by the Church in keeping with the founding charism
  • A personal and communal prayer life
  • A healthy asceticism
  • Sound initial and continuing formation
  • Form of government calling for religious authority based on faith

[cf. CMSWR Statutes, Article 3, Section 4]

Benefits of Full and Associate Membership:

  • Mutual Support of CMSWR communities
  • Opportunities for collaboration through participation in CMSWR sponsored events and participation on CMSWR committees
  • Consecrata Publication
  • Member Messages and updates, including letters and communications from the Holy See
  • Access to resources such as audio and video recordings from the National Assembly, Formators’ workshops and regional meetings
  • Access to Member Forum
  • Sponsored regional workshops
  • Annual Formators’ workshop
  • Annual National Assembly
  • Listing in the CMSWR Vocation and Membership Directories
  • Vocation promotion through CMSWR website and social media platforms

 Limitations of Associate Membership:

  • Participation in annual business meeting, but without voting rights
  • Participation in elections of Advisors to the Board of Directors, but not in election of the Board Members
  • Eligible to be elected as Advisors to the Board of Directors, but not to be elected as voting Members of the Board

Affiliate Status

In accord with the Statutes, Section 8, non-members may avail themselves of the services of the Council by submitting a written request to the Board, and non-members may participate in certain activities of the Council by invitation. All general services offered, educational programs sponsored and materials produced by the Council are available to non-members.

In order to respond to requests in a timely manner and to provide ongoing access to the services and resources of the CMSWR, the status of Affiliate has been established for those superiors who are interested in the CMSWR but are not eligible to be members.

Affiliate Status with Mentorship

Affiliate status with mentorship is open to women who reside in the United States and govern private associations of the faithful which have been established with a view to becoming religious institutes or societies of apostolic life. Those who govern these associations must be analogous to major superiors and their legitimate vicars in accord with their own statutes, which have been approved by competent ecclesiastical authority. These associations must have juridic personality as a private association of the faithful and must subscribe to the criteria for membership.

Affiliate Status without Mentorship

Affiliate status without formal mentorship is open to local superiors of mission houses located in the United States, whose religious institutes or societies of apostolic life do not have a motherhouse/provincial house in the United States. These institutes and societies must have been canonically established, and subscribe to the criteria for membership.

Affiliate status may also include women superiors who reside in the United States and govern women’s branches of Ecclesial Families and Societies of Apostolic Life and other societies that do not meet canonical criteria for membership in the CMSWR, if these superiors acknowledge the general and specific purposes of the CMSWR, as set forth in Article 2 of the Statutes.

 Benefits of the affiliate status:

  • Support of CMSWR communities
  • Consecrata publication
  • Occasional Affiliate Messages from the CMSWR Office with updates or information from the Holy See, USCCB, CMSWR, etc.
  • Guest access to recorded talks from National Assembly, workshops and other events
  • Invited to local regional workshops
  • May be invited to Formators’ workshops and National Assembly
  • May receive the Vocation and Membership Directories upon request

Limitations of the affiliate status:

  • No participation in member-only business meetings or elections of the CMSWR
  • No access to the Member Forum
  • No advertising of association on CMSWR social media, website, etc.
  • Not listed in Vocation or Membership Directories
  • Not eligible for scholarships from the CMSWR

For more information about membership and to speak to a sister, please click on the contact link below.

August 2021


Contact

PO Box 4467
Washington, DC 20017-0467
202-832-2575

©2021 Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious